FRI Wheel of Excellence

Franchisor Excellence Masterclass

With Greg Nathan
Held in Melbourne, 20–21 May, 2019

- Masterclass Proceedings -
A journey into the science
of successful franchising

It’s a beautiful Melbourne morning and 70 senior franchisor executives from 42 brands have come together to learn and share evidence-based insights for building healthy franchise networks. Welcome to the 2019 Franchisor Excellence Masterclass.

Franchisor Leaders Ready To Learn

Biggest Challenges Facing the Group

FRI’s CEO, Jewli Turier, explains the interactive nature of the program, and the culture of productivity and openness we want to create. She requests we keep our discussions solution focused, succinct and specific. Jewli then shares the key themes from survey responses to three questions asked of participants in the lead up to the Masterclass (see below).

Jewli Turier Shares the Big Challenges
Jewli Turier sets up the culture

What are the biggest challenges facing your franchise network?

  • Franchisee recruitment
  • Uncertainty and change
  • Margin compression
  • Trust and engagement with franchisees

What are the biggest challenges for you personally?

  • Recruiting and managing a strong support team
  • Getting franchisee engagement and buy-in
  • Motivating franchisees to maintain high performance
  • Getting everything done!

What are the biggest challenges facing your franchisees?

  • Margin compression and staying competitive
  • Maintaining competence and capability
  • Keeping up to date with business and social changes
  • Dealing with stresses of the business

Creating A Culture Of Openness

We are all invited to team up with someone we don’t know, and share something that has gone well in the last week, and something we’ve learnt in the past year that might help us to be a better leader. Each person then introduces their new buddy to the room (practising the value of being succinct). This is not a corny “ice-breaker” exercise. It is a process carefully designed to create a culture of openness and trust in the room. (This is also a process franchisors can use with their franchisees at their own conferences).

Arabella Richards & Hao Quach Creating A Culture Of Openness
Arabella Richards & Hao Quach getting to know each other

Research Trends on Franchisee Advocacy, Commitment & Engagement

We are now in the learning zone. Using data from FRI’s ACE Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys, Greg Nathan, FRI’s Founder, presents a number of trends. He shows how the percentage of franchisees willing to recommend their franchise network has been steadily declining over the past 15 years, particularly in the last 3 years, and how the percentage of franchisees reporting a serious disagreement with their franchisor has significantly increased in the least 3 years (see chart below). Greg then shares a number of evidence-based strategies franchisors can implement immediately to improve franchisee satisfaction, and sets up the room for round table discussions.

Franchise Disputes Are On The Rise

Sharing Solutions to Improve Franchisee Satisfaction

We then all break into round tables to discuss seven specific topics for maximising franchisee engagement and satisfaction. (Notes from these round tables have been collated and are available to download at the bottom of this page).

Discussing How To Improve Engagament & Satisfaction

Leading With The Brain In Mind

After a networking break we return to hear from author and award winning expert in the neuroscience of resilience, Josie Thomson. Josie first gets us up to experience an awareness expanding exercise that illustrates how we can all respond more proactively to the inevitable changes we will face in our businesses and life.

Expanding Our Awareness With The Change Game

Josie then shares stories and strategies on how to use our brains more effectively. She explains how the brain reacts to stress, and provides many practical tips to help us become more effective leaders and higher functioning human beings. (For a White Paper that summarises Josie’s new book, The Wise Advocate, go to the download section below.)

Josie Thomson On Leading With The Brain In Mind
Josie Thomson on how to to use our brains effectively

How To Engage People With Change

After a networking break we hear from Damien Gooden, CEO of HR Central, on what franchisors can do to minimise risk with the current focus on wage compliance.

Greg Nathan then returns to lead a session on Getting Buy-In and Commitment to Change. He explains that during change, franchisors need to master the art of naming what’s on the minds of their franchisees, and reassuring them they have been heard. Greg likens franchise networks to icebergs that have four levels — products, systems, leadership/strategy and culture — and describes why changes at deeper levels will always evoke greater anxiety and resistance. He then facilitates discussions on what franchisors can do to better engage franchisees with new initiatives.

Greg Nathan On How To Engage People With Change
Greg Nathan on how to better manage change

Improving the Customer Experience

Leigh Johnston kicks off this session explaining why lending conditions have tightened in the Australian franchising sector and how Franchise Finance Australia can provide convenient funding alternatives to assist franchisees with their growth and expansion needs.

And now we move the focus from franchisee engagement to the main game of every business — attracting and retaining customers! Michael Momsen, Founder of RateIt, explains RateIt’s new Customer Experience Flywheel. This has been developed from interviews with 40 of the world’s top customer experience leaders in their award winning podcast. (You can download this White Paper below).

Michael Momsen Explains The Cx-Flywheel
Michael Momsen explains RateIt's CX-Flywheel

The Customology of Retaining
and Growing Your Customers

Next, “Customologist”, Michael Barnard, reminds us that it costs 10 times as much to obtain a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer. He explains why franchise networks need to start practising behavioural segmentation of their customers, and shares the nine steps that lead to customers increasing their purchasing behaviour. (You can download this Customology presentation on The Science of Retaining Customers below).

Michael Barnard: Who Wants Customers To Spend More With Us?
Michael Barnard “Who wants to grow more customers?”

Digesting The Day Over Dinner

Many participants stay on for a relaxed dinner to chew over what they have learned, and make some new connections.

Digesting The Day Over Dinner

The Art of Being a Great MC

There is a buzz in the air as everyone arrives for Day 2 of the program, and our MC, Jason Travis, warms up the room with some interaction. Jason was rated extremely highly for the way he MC’d the two days, introducing presenters, linking sessions together, and keeping the program running like clockwork. If you need a great MC for your next conference give us a call as it’s one of the services we offer.

Mc Jason Travis Warms Up The Room
Jason Travis warms up the room for Day 2

Introducing The Future Of Retailing

We are then treated to a taste of things to come as Brian Walker, Founder of the Retail Doctor Group, delivers a dazzling presentation on the future of retail. Brian updates us on emerging global retail trends and challenges us to think about how we can better create a seamless customer experience, whether people are engaging with us online or face to face. (You can download a summary of Brian’s presentation below).

Brian Walker Introduces The Future Of Retailing
Brian Walker challenges us on the shape of things to come

Facing Into the Sector’s
Reputational Challenges

Next we lean into the tough issues facing the franchise sector with presentations by some franchising heavyweights. Stephen Giles, FCA Director and Partner with Norton Rose Fulbright, invites us to reflect on how we feel about being involved in the franchising sector given the negative publicity in recent times. He asks us to decide which of the following statements best applies to us:

A. My involvement in the franchise sector enhances my personal reputation and credibility
B. The negative media coverage of franchising is annoying, but hasn’t affected me personally
C. I am nervous about franchising’s future, and some people have questioned my involvement
D. If there’s no improvement to franchising’s reputation I’m seriously thinking of leaving the sector

Rod Young, Chairman of DC Strategy Group and Global CEO for Cartwright World, then provides his insights into how franchisors can protect their networks in the current climate. He shares how Cartridge World has had to change and adapt its products and franchising model, and how difficult this has been for all stakeholders, especially investors and franchisees. Rod finishes by saying, when he travels and is asked on immigration forms to state his occupation, he always proudly writes Franchise Consultant.

Pete Burdon, Founder of Franchise Media Training, then shares a number of practical tips for dealing with the media in a crisis. Pete has generously shared for downloading below, a publication franchisors can include in their franchise operations manuals titled “Dealing with the news media”.

Pete Burdon Watched On By Stephen Giles And Rod Young
Pete Burdon, Rod Young and Stephen Giles

Protecting Growth Through Smart Recruitment

After a networking break Russell Scott from H&R Block provides an update on new Taxation laws and process, and some practical tips on how to make the most of these. (You can download Russell’s presentation below).

Greg Nathan then names one of the biggest challenges in franchising — how to balance the desire to sell your franchise opportunity with the need to maintain franchisee selection disciplines. He explains how the concept of “recruitment” integrates these two concepts and outlines a number of best practice recruitment strategies. These include focusing on leads that come through referrals from existing franchisees as these are more than 3 times likely to result in someone buying your franchise. (You can access Greg’s tips on this topic below). The room then breaks into round table discussions on how to protect growth targets through smart recruitment, including the use of multi-unit franchising.

Protecting Growth Through Smart Recruitment

All Franchisees Are Not The Same

After lunch Brendan Green, CEO of Franchise Cloud Solutions, shares their new best practice solution for helping franchisors keep track of franchisee candidates and manage internal franchise communications.

Jewli Turier then leads a fascinating session titled Delivering Effective Support to Your Franchisees. Jewli explains the benefits of franchisors recognising how diverse their franchisees are, not just in terms of country of origin, but in terms of tenure, performance, size and type of location. She recommends franchisors deliver more targeted support to franchisees by segmenting them in terms of their development needs.

All Franchisees Are Not The Same

Completing The Franchisor Diagnostic

Finally everyone is invited to complete FRI’s Franchisor Leadership Excellence Diagnostic, a valuable consulting tool provided as part of the Masterclass registration. The Diagnostic enables franchisors to rate themselves against 60 best franchising practices. Everyone then teams up with a buddy to discuss their insights and how they will turn these into actions. Not surprisingly, this final session is one of the highest rated sessions.

Jason Hill and Kellie Tunstall Discuss Their Insights
Jason Hill & Kellie Tunstall discuss their insights

Keeping The Learning Light

While we covered a huge amount of serious and challenging material over the two days, we also managed to keep the learning light, as evidenced by the positive feedback. When participants were asked to rate their overall experience of the two days, 100% rated it as Excellent or Very Good, while the event’s NPS was +79 (i.e. 79% of participants rated their likelihood to recommend the Masterclass as a 9 or 10).

Keeping The Learning Light

A Big Thanks to Everyone!

Pulling together an event like this takes an enormous amount of time and resources, so we want to acknowledge the amazing work of the FRI team who managed to organise the Masterclass while also keeping on top of their day jobs! And of course without the support of our Program Partners there is no way we could put programs of this quality together. Not only do these companies understand the nuances of franchising, they are committed to helping maintain franchising excellence by investing in best practice franchise education. Our next major Education Program will be the Culture of Franchising Workshops for Support Office teams to be held on Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne during August.

Downloadable Masterclass Resources

312 Best Practice Tips for Improving Franchisee Engagement


White Paper: Josie Thomson's new book, The Wise Advocate

Brian Walker: Presentation on Hot Trends in Retailing


Presentation on the Science of Retaining Customers


Protecting Your Brand When Dealing with the Media


White Paper: Key Takeaways from 40 of the World’s Top CX Leaders


H&R Block: Hot Tax Tips for Franchisors and Franchisees


Education Program Partners

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